lloyd millard bentsen


lloyd millard bentsen

American politician (b. Feb. 11, 1921, Mission, Texas-d. May 23, 2006, Houston, Texas), was a longtime Democratic senator from Texas (1971-93) who in 1988 achieved national prominence as the vice presidential running mate of presidential candidate Michael Dukakis in their unsuccessful bid for election. Bentsen, who distinguished himself as an able fund-raiser and public speaker, was famously remembered during the vice presidential debate for his riposte to Sen. Dan Quayle, who had likened himself to Pres. John F. Kennedy. Bentsen declared, "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." After earning (1942) a law degree from the University of Texas, Bentsen was a combat pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces. From 1946 to 1948 he served as a judge in Hidalgo county, Texas, and from 1949 to 1955 he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He left government, complaining that he could not support his family on the $12,500 salary he earned. With help from relatives, he founded Consolidated American Life Insurance Co.-later called Lincoln Consolidated, Inc., in Houston, and he reportedly became a millionaire as president of the firm. He reentered politics in 1970, beating George H.W. Bush in the Senate race, and served as chairman of the powerful U.S. Senate Finance Committee. Though he was branded a conservative, he most often voted along the same lines as other Democratic senators. After leaving the Senate, he served (1993-94) as treasury secretary in the cabinet of Pres. Bill Clinton.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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